There are several factors to consider when choosing the best hemp flower strains for your farm. To begin, you should assess whether your target market is in hemp biomass or boutique flowers. After that, we recommend you take a look at the outdoor growing season at your chosen locale. Once you have chosen hemp strains that meet the demands of your cultivation environment, you can focus on important factors such as cannabinoids, THC compliance, and terpene profiles.

Commercial hemp cultivation is a complex process that requires careful consideration of many factors. However, if you pay keen attention to the details and make educated choices, you’re sure to yield a great harvest. For added benefit, appropriate planning when choosing types of hemp flower can protect your operation’s bottom line.

A Quick Look at Hemp Flower vs. Hemp Biomass

You probably know that hemp is an incredibly versatile crop that can be used for thousands of different purposes. Farmers looking to grow hemp will first need to choose what, in particular, they want to harvest. Hemp can be grown for fiber, seeds, or resin (from which CBD or CBG can be extracted).

the best hemp flower strainsGrowing hemp for CBD or CBG can offer a high ROI. Farmers who want to operate large, industrial hemp farms typically choose to harvest hemp biomass. This biomass includes the hemp flower, stalk, and leaves, which are processed and refined together to extract CBD- or CBG-rich resin.

The percentage of CBD or CBG your hemp flowers and/or biomass produces will have a large impact on your ROI, but so will the overall amount of flower your hemp crop produces. If you are looking to sell smokable, boutique-quality hemp flowers, for instance, you want a plant that produces a large number of flowers, as opposed to a plant that is known to have many leaves, which could increase the overall biomass percentage. This is another factor to consider as you compare hemp strains and decide which to grow.

Smaller farmers often choose to harvest hemp flower, which is the bud the hemp plant produces. (Hemp flowers and hemp buds are interchangeable terms.) Hemp flowers can be harvested, cured, and sold as a complete flower. Many customers smoke or vape cured hemp flowers in order to enjoy the relaxing effects of CBD or CBG. Alternatively, processors may purchase dried hemp flowers in order to extract CBD or CBG. Hemp flowers provide a higher percentage of CBD or CBG than hemp biomass.

Types of Hemp Flower & the Growing Season

Different hemp flower strains possess characteristics that may be more or less conducive to your farm and growing season. One of the most important attributes of a hemp strain is its maturation cycle. Farmers who live in areas of the country with a short growing season may do better with hemp plants that mature quickly.

Outdoor hemp farmers in colder regions of the United States must pay particularly close attention to strain selection. That being said, if you plan on cultivating in the Midwest or Northeast, we recommend selecting hemp flower strains that finish well before the autumn freezes arrive. If this is the case, High Grade Hemp Seeds recommends you choose an early finish variety or an autoflower strain. Our Autoflower strain, for example, can be ready for harvest in around 75 days after planting.

Fast-growing hemp strains could also be an ideal choice for farmers with a long growing window and who want to get in a second harvest for the year. In fact, farmers with the benefit of a long growing season can experiment with different types of hemp flower strains. For example, our Red Bordeaux is an ideal choice for farmers interested in staggering their harvests.

Robustness

One of the most important factors in hemp strain selection is the overall robustness of the genetics. If your hemp farm operates without the protection of a greenhouse, your crop must be able to withstand several environmental stressors. Depending on where you are located, most outdoor hemp crops are exposed to excessive heat, heavy rain, strong wind, and cold nights.

Outdoor hemp crops are also under constant attack from bugs and pathogens. Especially during flower season, be sure to choose a hemp strain that is not easily susceptible to botrytis (“bud rot”). Unfortunately, it’s often the plants with the densest flowers that fall victim to this awful mold.

Certain hemp strains are more robust than others and can better withstand weather, bugs, and pathogens. Our Berry Blossom strain, for example, is well known for its toughness. When choosing your hemp flower seeds, take a look at their history and how well they’ve held up for other farmers who have used them.

Which Cannabinoid is Best in Hemp Flowers: CBD or CBG?

The hemp industry continues to evolve with consumer demand. Today, the little-known cannabinoid CBG is beginning to gain the attention of the masses. Historically, growing hemp for CBG has been very difficult, because hemp flowers simply don’t produce high levels of CBG.

CBG starts out in the hemp plant as CBGA (cannabigerolic acid). CBGA can then be broken down into a variety of different chemical compounds, which then break down into CBD and THC. This doesn’t leave much CBGA left over to convert into CBG, which is why normal hemp plants can have as little as 1% CBG. That is changing, as new hemp strains, including our Matterhorn CBG, have been selectively bred to produce high levels of CBG.

When you search for hemp seed strains, first decide if you might want to stick with growing hemp for CBD or experiment with CBG hemp. If you want to give CBG a try, then look for CBG strains. No matter which cannabinoid you want to harvest, make sure you choose hemp flower strains that can deliver a high percentage of either CBD or CBG. The more CBD or CBG your hemp flowers produce, the greater return you’ll get on your crop. Our Matterhorn CBG flower can typically produce 15% CBG.

THC Compliance & Hemp Flower Strains

As important as it is to choose hemp flower strains that can produce high levels of CBD or CBG, it’s equally important to ensure that your hemp buds stay in compliance with the law. The 2018 Farm Bill mandated that all industrial hemp plants must stay below 0.3% THC. Going above this level is known as “going hot.” Research from Cornell University determined that seed genetics play a large role in how quickly THC content increases as a hemp plant reaches maturity. When searching for the best hemp buds, check the strain’s history of THC compliance. If your hemp plants run hot before you can harvest them, you will lose your entire crop! This is why choosing the best genetics is an essential part of a successful hemp growing season.

Hemp Flower Strains & Terpene Profile

One of the biggest distinguishing factors between hemp strains is their terpene profile. A hemp flower’s “terp profile” refers to its aromatic qualities. A hemp plant’s terp profile is a huge selling point, as hemp bud smokers will often seek out their favorite flavors.

Hemp plants produce terpenes, which are found in trichomes (tiny hair-like structures around the buds, stems, and stalks of the hemp plant). Hemp plants use terpenes to ward off enemy insects while inviting helpful pollinators. Scientists have discovered over 100 unique terpenes, and fascinating research suggests that terpenes, along with other, lesser-known cannabinoids, may create an “entourage effect” that enhances the effects of CBD or CBG.

When reviewing different hemp flower strains, pay attention to the terpene profiles. Some hemp flowers, for example, offer fruity or floral notes. Others are famous for heavy flavors of skunk, cheese, and even gasoline. Certain customers absolutely love the biggest, boldest skunky hemp flowers.

Here’s a quick list of all the different terp profiles our hemp strains offer:

  • Berry Blossom: Extremely floral; smothered in exotic overtones of candied raspberries and acai berries.
  • Red Bordeaux: Strong overtones of fresh-cut strawberries and crushed lavender with hints of cherry and gasoline.
  • Merlot: A sharp and robust frame of freshly opened tennis balls and orange peel underscored with rich tones of chocolate and cherries jubilee.
  • Bueno: Aromatic notes of strawberry.
  • Autoflower: Sweet and spicy.
  • Cherry Wine: Complex cherry floral frame with pine skunk undertones.
  • Trophy Wife: Heavy notes of cheese and skunk complemented by cherry undertones.
  • Matterhorn CBG: Effervescent notes of citrus, lemon, and lime.
  • Chardonnay: Strawberry rhubarb jam and candied raspberries.

How Do You Find the Best Hemp Flower?

As you may have already inferred, commercial hemp cultivation is a complex affair that requires the careful consideration of many factors. While the process of strain selection may seem daunting, it is extremely important. By taking the right steps before you plant your crop, you set yourself up for success when harvest time finally arrives.

When selecting the best hemp strains for your farm, you must consider whether you want to grow boutique flowers or biomass. With this information in hand, you should assess the growing season in your locale to choose the best strain for the job. Finally, you can narrow down your strain selection with the all-important considerations of cannabinoids and terpenes.

How can you balance all these different features to find just the right hemp strain that will thrive on your farm and give you the highest ROI? A great option is to start by looking for the best hemp flower company and reaching out to their customer representatives. A knowledgeable representative will learn more about your goals, your budget, and your farm and then be able to make recommendations.

Once you have a hemp strain in mind, the next step is to test it out. It’s a good idea to start small for your first hemp harvest. You may even want to plant just a single acre so you can see how the hemp takes to your soil, what your labor needs are, and what the harvesting process is like. If the plant thrives and gives you a good return, it’s time to plant more next year. (Start by reading our 2021 Hemp Growing Guide.)

Have more questions about the best hemp flower online? Contact us today. We’ve been in the hemp genetics and seed business for almost ten years and have worked with leading farmers and researchers to develop our hemp flower strains. Our strains are widely respected and considered foundational in the hemp industry. Just as importantly, our seeds are also planted throughout the country. We can’t wait to hear from you!

A new crop is showing up on farms across the country. In August of 2018, U.S. farmers planted 27,424 acres of hemp. Just a year later, that number skyrocketed to 128,320 acres across the country and 2020 numbers are now at a whopping 465,762 acres. What is behind this jaw-dropping increase in hemp farming? The answer is that hemp offers farmers a variety of great benefits. This versatile and sustainable crop can be a great addition to most farms. Here are 10 useful benefits of hemp farming.

1. Hemp Can Grow Almost Anywhere in the United States

Many farmers are limited by the crops that will grow in their planting region. This may mean certain lucrative cash crops are out of reach. Not so with hemp (at least for most farmers). Hemp is a highly robust crop that can grow nearly anywhere, except for very dry deserts or high, mountainous areas where large-scale agriculture doesn’t happen anyway.

Chances are that you can successfully grow industrial hemp at your farm. Note, however, that hemp does grow best in well-drained soil, so you may need to do a little extra work if your soil doesn’t offer ideal drainage.

Want to get started growing hemp? Download our 2021 Hemp Growing Guide

2. Hemp Is an Endlessly Versatile Crop

From paper to biodiesel fuel to wellness-promoting oil, hemp can be turned into an almost endless supply of different products. In fact, there are over 25,000 different uses for hemp, including food, building supplies, textiles, skincare products, oils, and more. Every part of a hemp plant can be used in some way, shape, or fashion.

This versatility gives farmers growing hemp many different options when it comes to making a profit on their hemp crop. They may even be able to harvest different parts of the hemp plant to earn even more from each harvest.

3. Hemp Can Offer a Great ROI

Let’s get down to business: Farmers need to earn a living, and hemp is a great way to do it. Many farmers are making a strong profit by growing hemp for CBD and/or CBG. CBD is extremely popular in the health and wellness industry, and interest in CBG is quickly rising. According to a 2019 article in The Fresh Toast, while farmers typically earn $1,000 per acre of corn, some hemp farmers have reported earning as much as $30,000 to $40,000 per acre growing hemp for CBD. These results are not typical of all hemp farmers, especially new farmers, but it does speak to the earnings potential that CBD and CBG can offer.

Interested in making a greater profit on your hemp crop? Take a look at our 10 tips for increasing hemp farm profits

4. Hemp Is a Highly Robust Crop

Risk comes with the territory for farmers. There’s always the chance that a crop can be damaged by rough weather, pests, or disease. While hemp is not impervious to these harms, it is a highly robust plant. Hemp is known for being resistant to common pests and diseases that can take down other, more vulnerable cash crops. Additionally, because hemp tends to grow so quickly, it usually outpaces weeds that could compete with it for resources.

That doesn’t mean farmers growing hemp can afford to take their hands off the wheel and assume their crop will grow without any problems. Farmers need to always keep an eye on their hemp crop for any signs of disease or pest issues.

5. Autoflower Hemp Can Grow in 75 Days

Farmers in colder climates need to work within a short growing season. On the flip side of the coin, farmers in warmer climates may have the ability to plant more than one harvest in the same field. In both cases, autoflower hemp seeds can give farmers the fast grow time they need. Autoflowers typically mature in 70 to 75 days, which cuts weeks off the time of full-term hemp (which may take 100 to 120 days to mature). Autoflowers are a great option for a short growing season or can give farmers more flexibility in planning their crops and getting the most use out of their field.

Here’s what you need to know about growing autoflower hemp

6. Hemp Nourishes Your Soil

Most cash crops leach nutrients from the soil in order to grow, forcing farmers to continually add chemical fertilizers into their fields. Some farmers are adopting the old tradition of rotating their fields to give their soil time to recover. Hemp can speed up this process by actively revitalizing the soil.

Hemp roots reach deep into the soil to hold it together and prevent erosion. The roots also loosen up the soil, making it more welcoming to the next crop. While a hemp crop is planted, it naturally aerates the soil and adds helpful deposits of carbon dioxide into the soil.

Lastly, hemp creates a lot of healthy biomass after it is finished growing. Farmers who grow hemp for CBD or CBG only need to remove the plant’s leaves and buds, and can turn the rest into biomass that can decompose and feed nutrients back into the soil. All these factors can revitalize soil.

7. Hemp Doesn’t Need Lots of Water

Water isn’t cheap no matter where you live. Farmers in dryer areas of the country, like in the southwest, have to pay even more for water, which may make thirsty crops, like avocados and almonds, expensive crops to grow. While hemp is not technically a low-water crop, it does require less water than many water-hungry crops.

Farmers who want (or need) to keep their water bill low can do so by growing hemp.

8. Hemp Doesn’t Require as Much Pesticide and Herbicide

The EPA has a number of approved pesticides and herbicides that can be applied to hemp crops. Each state also has its own rules and regulations so the state Agriculture Department should be contacted. Despite the EPA’s approval, many, if not most, CBD hemp farmers prefer to maintain the chemical purity of their crop. They prefer to use biologics and Integrated Pest Management to maintain the purity of their product in order to maximize downstream product value.

9. Hemp Is a Great Way to Diversify Your Crop

One of the ways farmers balance out risk is to diversify their crops. Hemp is a great option for farmers who want to lower their risk by adding a new crop to their portfolio. All of the benefits of hemp farming we’ve already pointed out help make a great case for diversifying with hemp.

Hemp grows fast, nourishes the soil, doesn’t require a lot of water or chemicals, and can be turned into lots of different products—and it can offer a great ROI. If you want to switch things up on your farm, it’s time to start thinking about hemp farming.

Here’s how to start a hemp farm

10. Hemp Is Good for the Environment

Farmers understand that combating climate change is synonymous with protecting the future of farming. Hemp can help with that battle. Aside from requiring fewer chemicals and less water than most cash crops, and helping to prevent soil erosion, hemp does one other great thing for the environment: it loves to gobble up carbon dioxide, which it then feeds right into your soil. According to the Hemp Foundation, “Experts say that every ton of hemp can sequester 1.62 tons of CO2.”

Hemp is also actively being used as a sustainable alternative to many different materials. An acre of hemp can produce as much paper as four to 10 acres of trees, and hemp grows to maturity in four months, whereas trees require in 20 years or more to reach maturity. Companies have also started experimenting with hemp plastic and “hempcrete”, a building material that is actively being used in Europe and is starting to appear on U.S. building projects. Researchers have also found that hemp biodiesel is a viable and renewable fuel alternative.

Why Plant Hemp?

You’ve now got 10 reasons to seriously consider hemp farming. Hemp is hardy and robust. You can grow it nearly anywhere, including places with a short growing window or areas of the country with limited water. Hemp can be turned into nearly anything, giving you lots of options to make money by meeting market demand. Achieving a high ROI with hemp is possible, especially if you grow hemp for CBD or CBG. Hemp can also keep your soil healthy, limit your use of pesticides and herbicides, and help you fight climate change.

Want to know even more benefits of hemp growing? Contact High Grade Hemp Seed today. We’d love to tell you about the unique benefits of our CBD hemp strains and our Matterhorn CBG strain.

Autoflower hemp seeds are queens of speed and champions of resilience. If you’ve heard some skepticism about autoflowering hemp, put it out of your mind. Today’s newest strains of autoflowering hemp seeds offer high yields and great terpene variety. If you’re looking to reap multiple hemp harvests in a single year, it’s time to learn about how to grow autoflowering seeds on your hemp farm.

We’re here for you. Welcome to our autoflower grow guide.

A Quick Introduction to Autoflower Hemp Seeds

Let’s start with the basics: What is autoflower hemp and how is it different from other types of hemp strains?

Most hemp strains are known as “photoperiod” plants, meaning they need a shift in the light cycle to trigger the flowering stage that produces the majority of the plant’s CBD and CBG oil. As its name implies, an autoflower plant flowers automatically. It doesn’t require a change in the light or the season. Autoflower hemp seeds are the descendants of cannabis plants grown in Central Asia, Eastern Europe, and Russia. In these cold countries, the cannabis plants had to learn to grow quickly to make the most of short growing seasons. They shed their reliance on the light cycle, allowing them to grow and flower in record time.

Today’s farmers can now use seeds with those adaptations to grow more hemp and harvest more resin.

Why Choose Autoflower Hemp Seeds?

Before we jump into our tips for growing autoflower plants, let’s look at why you might want to consider choosing autoflower seeds instead of photoperiod seeds.

Speedy Growing Cycle

Most hemp strains require over 100 days (sometimes up to 120 days) to complete a grow cycle. Autoflower strains, on the other hand, are speed demons when it comes to growing. Most strains reach maturation in 7 to 10 weeks, allowing farmers to grow multiple harvests per year in warmer climates. This fast growth rate also makes autoflower strains a great option for farmers who live in colder climates with short outdoor growing seasons.

High Resiliency

The great ancestors of today’s autoflower hemp seeds had to survive in some of the world’s toughest climates, which makes autoflowers some of the most resilient hemp strains around.

Resistance to Pests

Pests and insect infestations are a threat to any crop, but autoflowers grow so quickly, insects often don’t have enough time to do the plants much harm. This makes autoflowers more pest-resistant than most other hemp strains.

Improved Yields and Better Terpene Profiles

In the past, autoflower plants have been criticized for producing lower-than-average amounts of resin and for their poor selection of terpene profiles. These days, however, hemp seed companies like High Grade Hemp Seed have been hard at work breeding autoflower strains that boost CBD yields and provide tantalizing terpene profiles your customers want.

How to Grow Autoflowering Seeds in Soil

Growing autoflower hemp seeds in soil isn’t so different from planting other strains of hemp seed except that you’ll have more options on when to plant your seeds.

Step 1: Prepare for Autoflowers

If you’ve grown other hemp strains in the past, you’ll need to revise your growing plan for autoflower hemp. Make sure you review your planting and harvesting schedules and that you are prepared with your next batch of seeds if you plan on cycling your autoflower harvests.

You’ll also need to ensure that your labor crew is ready for a speedy turnaround between planting and harvesting.

Step 2: Schedule Your Planting

The beauty of autoflower hemp seeds is that they can grow throughout most of the year as long as they don’t experience frost or too much rain. That gives you a lot more flexibility in when to plant. In some parts of the country, planting can start in early spring all the way through to late fall.

Figure out your planting goals: Do you want to focus only on autoflowers and cycle as many harvests as you can? Or do you want to get an autoflower harvest at the beginning and end of the year around your other, longer-growing hemp strains?

Step 3: Germinate Your Plants in a Greenhouse

At High Grade, we often recommend germinating your seeds in a greenhouse infrastructure to give your seeds the best chance for survival. Autoflower plants don’t have as much time to recover from a replanting in the field, so farmers may want to experiment with germinating their autoflowers in a greenhouse and seeding directly to see which produces the best yield. If you decide to germinate your seeds in a greenhouse, it’s a good idea to give your new seedlings a few weeks to grow in the greenhouse before planting.

Step 4: Prepare Your Soil

Your robust autoflower hemp seeds don’t need as much nutrition as other hemp strains, but they still appreciate a little nourishment. Test your soil before planting and double-check that your soil doesn’t contain high levels of sulfur, potassium sulfate, or rock phosphate.

Step 5: Keep Your Soil Well-Drained

Hemp plants, including autoflowers, grow best in loose, well-drained soil. Adjust watering to your particular climate. Autoflowers do well with surface drip irrigation, subsurface drip irrigation, pivot irrigation, and flood irrigation.

Step 6: Harvest Your Plants Sequentially

Your autoflower hemp plants will be ready for harvest between 7 to 10 weeks. Consider harvesting the colas on the tops of the plants first in order to give the lower buds a little more time to mature before harvesting them.

Step 7: Germinate Your Next Crop

To create the fastest cycle between harvests, begin germinating your next crop of non-autoflower hemp seeds in your greenhouse as you are harvesting your autoflower crop in the field. Once your harvest is complete, you should have a whole new batch of germinated hemp plants ready for another round of growing and harvesting.

How to Grow Autoflowering Seeds Indoors

Thinking of growing autoflower seeds indoors? You’ll need to set up a well-designed grow space. Make sure to set up proper lighting and irrigation and that you have the ability (and the right equipment) to maintain the right temperature and humidity levels.

Step 1: Plant Seeds in a Single Pot to Avoid Replanting

Autoflowers grow so quickly that they don’t have the time to recover from a big stressor like replanting from one pot to another. Instead, plant your seeds and grow them to maturation in a single pot. If you want to attempt to create a strong canopy in your grow space, plant the seeds in smaller pots so you can keep your plants together.

Step 2: Prepare Your Soil Properly

Autoflower hemp plants prefer light and airy soil. They don’t need the same amount of nutrients as other strains of hemp. Be careful about using pre-made soil mixes with too many nutrients. Plant your seeds in only lightly fertilized soil.

Step 3: Limit Watering

Be careful about overwatering your autoflower hemp plants. As we mentioned, autoflowers don’t recover well from major stresses like a deluge of water. Give the soil enough time to dry between waterings. A lighter watering schedule will also help you prevent mold.

Step 4: Determine Your Light Scheme

The beauty of autoflower hemp plants is that you don’t have to commit to a rigid light schedule like you would with photoperiod plants. However, you still need to give your autoflowers plenty of nurturing light to help them grow strong.

There is a lot of debate on how much light to give industrial hemp plants. Farmers who want the highest resin yields and have a little more money to invest upfront may want to use a 24-hour light cycle. Farmers who want to save on energy costs can still get good results using an 18/6 schedule, which refers to 18 hours of light and six hours of darkness.

Step 5: Control for Airflow and Humidity

Autoflower hemp plants do best in moderately warm temperatures, so try to keep your grow space at a cozy 68 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Good airflow is also an important component of keeping your plants happy and healthy, so use a ventilator to keep humidity low.

Step 6: Harvest Sequentially

When your indoor autoflower hemp plants are ready for harvest, take the colas and the buds from the top first in order to give the lower buds a little more time to mature. This will help you get even more resin from your harvest.

Step 7: Rinse and Repeat

You know the drill by now. If you have space in your grow room, consider germinating your next crop of seeds while harvesting your current crop. Take advantage of the fast-growing speeds of your autoflowers to achieve multiple harvests in a year.

Where to Find the Best Autoflower Hemp Seeds

To give your autoflower hemp crop the best chance for success, look for the seeds with proven genetics. At High Grade Hemp Seed, we are proud to offer our feminized Autoflower seeds, which are known for uniform growth and a tantalizing terpene profile that’s both sweet and spicy.

We’re passionate about the genetics of our seeds, including our autoflower strain. This guide on how to grow autoflower hemp seeds only scratches the surface of this complex topic. If you want more personalized growing recommendations for your farm, contact us today.

So, you want to start an industrial hemp farm—good choice! The 2018 Farm Bill finally made industrial hemp farming legal in the United States. The passage of the bill set off a bonanza of hemp farming, fed by the rabid popularity of CBD oil and the recent, growing interest in CBG oil. According to a market research report, the industrial hemp market could be worth up to $26.6 billion in the United States by 2025. That’s all to say that hemp may be a highly lucrative crop for farmers.

If you’re wondering how to start a hemp farm, you have a lot to learn before you plant your first seed. While tales of huge hemp profits are certainly alluring, farmers must make sure they fully understand the hemp market, the regulatory landscape of hemp, and the agricultural requirements of this unique crop before starting a hemp farm. Fortunately, we are here to help. We’ve been working with farmers for years to help them earn the most from their hemp crop. Consider this your guide to hemp farming 101.

Step 1: Do Your Homework

Planting a new crop is exciting, and you may be itching to start buying seeds, especially if the planting window is quickly closing for the season. Resist the urge to rush into a new endeavor, especially one as complicated as growing hemp. Instead, be patient and do your homework.
Learn everything you can about growing hemp and your state and local hemp regulations: Perform research online and speak with local farmers in your state who own hemp farms. Here are some of our favorite online resources for hemp farmers:

Additionally, check to see if your state has a hemp grower’s association you can join. This could be an excellent avenue to network with other local hemp farmers.

Step 2: Clarify Your Industrial Hemp Goals

It’s best to start out with your goal in mind, then work your way backwards. Begin thinking about which hemp products you want to grow. For most hemp farmers, their hemp crop of choice is CBD oil, but some farmers choose to grow hemp for seeds or fiber.

Step 3: Begin Identifying Potential Customers

Ideally, you’ll want to have customers lined up before you harvest your hemp crop so you have a fast and easy way to unload your harvest. Unlike with corn and grain, there are no hemp silos where you can drop off your hemp after harvest.

Finding customers early can also help you decide which strains of hemp seeds you should purchase. For example, if you find a CBD manufacturer who wants smokable hemp flowers (also called buds) with a specific terpene profile (the aromatic quality of the flower), you can search out hemp seeds to meet that need. You may also find customers who want a CBG oil supplier—that could easily be you.

 

Step 4: Create Your Hemp Farm Business Plan

Yes, you knew this one was coming. Drafting a business plan is challenging, but to help inspire yourself, think of your business plan as a “proof of concept” test. It’s far better to discover problems while in the planning stage of your hemp farm than out in the field when you’ve already laid down a big investment.

Make sure your business plan includes important sections like:

  • A SWOT ( Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis
  • Local hemp market overview
  • Your sales strategy
  • Your operating plan
  • Your farm’s organizational structure
  • Your financial plan, including a funding analysis and profit & loss forecast

We strongly suggest that you keep your profit estimates modest. Many online articles like to tell stories of farmers clearing $40,000 or more per acre of hemp. While these profits may be attainable by some, it is unlikely that first-time hemp farmers will see this level of return. By keeping your profit estimates reasonable, you can ensure that you’ll be able to meet your expenses. And if you beat expectations? Icing on the cake.

If you are having trouble developing your hemp farm business plan, reach out to your local hemp farmer’s association if one exists. You may also want to work with an agronomist who has experience in hemp farming.

Step 5: Develop a Plan for Testing and Compliance

One of the unique challenges of starting a hemp farm is that farmers must abide by the USDA’s strict guidelines regarding the THC content of their crop. According to these guidelines, your hemp plants must stay below a 0.3% THC threshold. You will be responsible for frequently testing your plants to ensure compliance, which is regulated by your state.

We recommend that you begin testing your plants a month after germination and test every two weeks. You may want to test even more frequently as you get closer to harvest. Search for a reputable testing facility now so that you can ensure that you’ll be able to consistently and accurately test your plants.

Step 6: Create an Irrigation Plan

Hemp can thrive with a variety of irrigation systems, including surface drip irrigation, subsurface irrigation, pivot irrigation, and flood irrigation. Now is the time to decide what type of irrigation system you want to use, as it will affect your overall costs, especially if you need to purchase a new system.

Step 7: Get Your License/Permit/Registration

The 2018 Farm Bill requires that every state create and submit a “state hemp plan,” which includes information on how the state will actively track industrial hemp farming within its borders. That means each state has its own regulations regarding hemp farming.

You will almost certainly need to request some form of license or permit in order to farm hemp in your state. You may also need to register with your local city or county. Reach out to your state’s agricultural department to determine what type of permissions you need. You may also want to hire an attorney with industrial hemp experience to make sure all of your paperwork is above reproach.

Step 8: Invest in Equipment and Labor

What new equipment will you need to ensure the best outcome for your hemp crop? For example, if you plan on buying hemp seeds, we strongly recommend that you start them in a greenhouse. (Don’t have a greenhouse? Try hemp starts instead of seeds.)

Hemp is also a labor-intensive crop, so it’s a good idea to recruit a crew of experienced workers who can help you cull male plants, watch out for pests, and maintain ideal field conditions. We recommend checking your fields daily.

 

 

Step 9: Prep Your Fields

As the day to plant your first hemp crop grows closer, you’ll want to make sure your soil is in ideal condition to help your plants grow fast and strong. The best way to prep your field will depend on your farm’s soil conditions and your regional environment.

It’s a good idea to test your soil for elemental sulfur, potassium sulfate, and rock phosphate to make sure the levels aren’t too high. You’ll also want to make sure your soil is well-drained before planting.

Step 10: Buy Your Hemp Seeds

With everything in place and planned out, it’s time to purchase your seeds. If you’ve performed steps two and three, then you should know exactly what type of hemp crop you want to cultivate. For example, perhaps you want to grow hemp specifically for CBG production or maybe you want to grow hemp with a fruity terpene profile.

Decide whether you want to invest in hemp seeds or hemp starts. (We don’t recommend using hemp clones since they will never grow a taproot, which make the plants more fragile.) You may also want to consider purchasing early finishing seeds, which will allow you to stagger your harvest and use your labor more efficiently.

Look for a hemp seed company that has been around for at least a few years and is passionate about the genetics of their seeds. We strongly recommend that hemp farmers invest a little more upfront and purchase feminized seeds to ensure the highest resin yields possible. When male hemp plants pollinate females, resin yields are substantially lower. (Here’s everything you need to know about feminized hemp seeds.)

Finally, if you find a hemp seed strain you want to try, purchase your seeds from the original company that created that hemp strain, not a seed reseller. The original company will be able to provide you with much more information and personal guidance during the planting, cultivating, and harvesting process.

At High Grade Hemp Seed, we are here to help you as you prepare to start farming hemp. We would be glad to tell you more about our many tried and proven hemp seed strains, including industry favorite Berry Blossom, Cherry Wine, fast-growing Auto Flower, and one of our newest strains, Matterhorn CBG, bred specifically to increase CBG production.

Contact us today—we’ll be happy to help you learn more about how to start a hemp farm.

Ever since the 2018 Farm Bill relaxed restrictions against hemp farming, you’ve heard all about the big profit potential of this versatile crop. In fact, a research report by MarketsandMarkets™ found that the industrial hemp market is expected to grow from $4.6 billion in 2019 to $26.6 billion by 2025. Researchers from Brightfield Group have also estimated that farmers could earn up to $40,000 per acre of industrial hemp compared to just $1,000 per acre of corn. While the higher end of that range may be achieved by more experienced growers, if even a tenth of that number sounds good to you, then you may be wondering how you can start growing hemp for profit.

Hemp, like all crops, has its unique growing challenges. One of those challenges is that hemp farming in the U.S. was illegal for decades, meaning that accurate knowledge and experience are in short supply.

Is it profitable to grow hemp? If you are looking to cultivate cannabidiol (CBD) oil or cannabigerol (CBG) oil, the answer can be a resounding yes if you follow best practices. Here are 10 invaluable tips on how to grow hemp for profit.

1. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare!

As with any crop, growing hemp requires a big investment in time, money, and effort. Before you put all your resources on the line, make sure you know what you’re jumping into.

Start by:

  • Researching hemp: Learn everything you can about it, including its growing cycle, nutritional needs, cultivation, and the different hemp strains available on the market.
  • Get advice: Reach out to farmers in your area who are growing hemp for profit and learn about their experience. You can also find great communities of hemp farmers online who are willing to share advice.
  • Create a business plan and budget: Where will you plant your hemp crop? How many seeds will you plant? How much will you spend on seeds? Will you invest in any specialized equipment? You’ll need to answer these questions and many more before you plant your first hemp seed.
  • Start small: Instead of risking it all by converting your entire acreage to hemp, consider planting just a few acres your first year. This will give you the time and space to learn about hemp and to see how the crop does on your farm before you invest a significant amount of capital.

2. Choose a Profitable Product

Hemp is a highly versatile crop that can be farmed for a variety of different products. You can farm hemp for fiber, grain, CBD oil, CBG oil, smokable flower, and more. Certain hemp products are more profitable than others. For instance, CBD oil can be very profitable and, on the premium end, can sell for more than $1000 per kilogram.

To make the most profit from your hemp crop, consider farming for the purpose of CBD oil, or even CBG oil. CBG oil is still relatively unknown, but early studies of the substance have shown that the oil may offer positive health benefits. Some industry experts are predicting CBG could be the next big health product, and it currently sells for an even higher price than CBD oil.

3. Choose Hemp Seeds Designed for Your Purpose

Search out hemp seeds designed to enhance the production of the product you’ve chosen to cultivate. For example, some seeds have been intensely crossbred to enhance the production of CBD oil. Planting these specialized seeds will allow you to produce more pounds of CBD extract per acre. That could translate into an increased profit of hundreds, possibly even thousands, of dollars per acre you plant.

At High Grade Hemp Seed, all our hemp seed strains, including industry favorites Berry Blossom and Cherry Wine are designed to produce high quantities of CBD pill. Our newest product, Matterhorn CBG was bred specifically to increase production of CBG oil and can produce up to 15% CBG per trimmed flower.

4. Choose the Right Hemp Seed Strain

Before you spend a lot of money on your first purchase of hemp seeds, consider what strain will be the most profitable for you. Most hemp seed companies provide a variety of hemp seed strains. Each strain offers unique benefits. Some are designed for specific growing conditions, others for particular climates, and some are designed to grow fast or grow in a particular season. Many strains also produce interesting flavors. Some drip in resin for extraction and some are bred for the aromatic flowers to be smoked and appreciated by CBD consumers.

Research all the different strains available, and don’t be afraid to ask seed companies for their recommendation based on the particulars of your farm and your goals.

5. Buy Feminized Seeds for CBD and CBG Production

Here’s a quick lesson in hemp plant biology. Hemp plants can be male, female, or hermaphrodites. CBD oil and CBG oil come from the flowers of female plants, which means the females are your ticket to a profitable hemp crop.

Male hemp plants can actually burn away your profit. Not only do they produce only minimal amounts of CBD oil (not even enough worth cultivating), but when they pollinate female plants, the females produce less CBD.

Therefore, it’s critical that you keep male hemp plants out of your fields. Even a few males can pollinate many of your females and dramatically lower your CBD or CBG yield. The best way to get as many female hemp plants as possible is to invest in feminized seeds. Reputable hemp seed sellers can guarantee an extremely high rate of feminized seeds (at High Grade, we’ve achieved a 99.8% rate of feminization), which will result in a high rate of CBD or CBG oil extraction.

6. Invest in Seeds with a High Germination Rate

Every hemp seed that doesn’t germinate represents the loss of potential income. Even if a small percentage of your hemp seeds don’t germinate, that could mean hundreds of dollars of loss per acre.

When you’re ready to invest in hemp seeds, ask for the germination rates for your seeds. A reputable seed company should not only have this information available, but they should also be proud to tell you. At High Grade, our collective germination rate for all our hemp seed strains is over 95%.

7. Diversify Your Products

Farmers understand the value in diversifying their crops. A variety of different crops can help you manage changes in the marketplace, extreme weather events, and even changing consumer sentiments. Even within the hemp industry, you can diversify your hemp crop to balance out risk.

For example, even if your main interest lies in producing CBD extract, you may want to set aside a few acres for a seed like Matterhorn CBG to try out CBG extract. If CBG becomes as hot of a commodity as CBD, then you could be one of the first farmers to market. Plus, the reliably low THC levels, even when left in the field, ensure you have a compliant harvest.

You may also want to experiment with different hemp seed strains. You may find that one strain grows better and produces more CBD extract for you. Additionally, different strains will produce CBD with unique palettes, which may attract different buyers for your crop.

8. Consider Using Hemp Plant Starts

Hemp seeds are best grown initially in a greenhouse for their first few weeks. If you don’t have a greenhouse infrastructure and want to avoid that rather large initial investment, consider buying hemp starts. Hemp starts are already germinated and develop a tap root – unlike clones which do not develop a tap root,, which means you don’t have to worry about seeds that fail to germinate or high wind conditions causing seeds to blow away. Every start is a plant already on its way to flowering in a few short weeks.

9. Hire an Expert

If you’ve never farmed hemp before, you may want to consider hiring an agronomist. Though an experienced and knowledgeable agronomist won’t be cheap, their services will help ensure that your crop is successful. The increase in profits, when all is said and done, should more than pay for their services.

An agronomist can help you:

  • Test and prep your soil to make sure it is conducive to hemp growth
  • Recommend the right equipment to grow and harvest your crop
  • Advise you on the best irrigation methods and systems
  • Help you design your rows for maximum cultivation
  • Provide localized advice on regulations, certifications, licensing, and testing requirements to keep you legally safe

You may also want to consider working with an attorney experienced with hemp law to ensure you are following all local, state, and federal regulations.

10. Ask Questions

Finally, don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions. Starting to farm a new crop is a big investment, no matter the crop, so arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible. Talk to all the hemp farmers you know. Grab the ear of companies that manufacture specialized hemp farming equipment. Contact the top hemp seed companies and talk to their customer representatives. Tell them about your farm and goals, and ask for recommendations on the right seeds. Seed companies should be happy to answer your questions and to give you advice on how to grow hemp for profit.

Is It Profitable to Grow Hemp?

Yes, it is. We work with many farmers across the country who have been able to make a good living through hemp farming. Growing hemp isn’t easy, and success is far from guaranteed, but now you know some of the best tips on how to grow hemp from profit. If you start with the right principles, perform good planning, order the best seeds, and invest in expert advice, we think you’ll find hemp farming to be a profitable endeavor.

We want to answer your hemp seed questions and help you earn the most from your first hemp harvest. Contact us today.

Since the U.S. government relaxed restrictions on hemp farming in the Farm Bills of 2014 and 2018, many farmers have started planting this lucrative crop. If you are interested in adding hemp to your farm, you might be wondering how to get started. The answer is simple. Start with the right hemp seeds. Every farmer knows that the key to a successful crop begins with quality seeds. But how do you find hemp seeds for growing, and how can you evaluate the quality of the seeds?

Here are the six tips to buying hemp seeds to grow, straight from the mouths of experienced and successful hemp farmers:

1. Decide What You Want to Achieve

Hemp is an extremely versatile plant that can be farmed for a variety of different purposes, including fiber, grain, cannabidiol (CBD) extracts, cannabigerol (CBG) extracts, or smokable flowers. Different hemp seeds are cultivated to enhance the production of one or another of these features.

Therefore, it’s crucial that before you invest in hemp seeds for growing, you determine what results you want.

Are you interested in harvesting fiber or grain? What about CBD or CBG oil? Currently, CBD oil is the most profitable hemp crop to plant. Some sources estimate that farmers can see a profit of up to $40,000 per acre of hemp cultivated for CBD oil. While there is a large range in final profitability, interest in CBG oil is also beginning to increase, selling at an even higher price than CBD oil, yielding as high as 3 times the value of CBD.

2. Focus on Good Genetics

Once you’ve decided what hemp product you want to harvest, search for seed companies that offer hemp strains designed for that purpose. Often, these companies have spent years crossbreeding strains to enhance the seed’s output. For example, a hemp seed that can increase CBD production by just 2% in each plant can result in thousands of extra dollars in your pocket for every acre planted.

As you dive into your hemp seed research, you’ll likely discover that farmers and hemp experts mention the same strains again and again as the best in the industry. Choose the company that originated those strains rather than seed resellers.

Finally, good seed genes are about more than just increasing output. You also want to search out seeds that will grow into resilient plants that can survive and thrive in different environments and through a variety of weather conditions. Look for hemp seed strains adapted to your growing season and local environmental conditions.

3. Buy Feminized Seeds

If, like many hemp farmers, you want to focus on producing CBD or CBG oil, then the feminization rate in your seed selection matters. Hemp plants can be either male or female. Both CBD and CBG oil are dominantly derived from the flowers of the female plant. If a male plant pollinates a female plant, it will dramatically lower the amount of CBD and CBG oil female plants produce. Even a few male plants in a field can noticeably cut the CBD and CBG oil production of your crop and your profits along with it.

It’s incredibly important to work with a seed company that provides feminized seeds. No company can guarantee 100% feminized seeds, but the best seed companies can get very close (and they will teach you how to quickly identify male plants).

In the farming business, a few percentage points here or there can make the difference between a profitable crop and dipping into the red after all your hard work. When it comes to where to buy hemp seeds, invest in companies that can offer the very highest feminization rates.

4. Look at a Hemp Seed Company’s History and Reputation

The recent relaxation of laws against hemp farming has led to a rush of new players in the industry looking to “cash in” on the hottest new crop to hit the market. Suddenly everyone and their brother has hemp seeds and other related products to sell to unwary farmers.

Look before you buy hemp seeds for growing! Take the time to do your due diligence and research a company’s history and reputation before you invest your hard-earned money. Because hemp farming was essentially outlawed up until 2014, hemp seed companies are still relatively new. However, the top companies have been around for years and have invested a lot of time and effort into creating high-producing strains of hemp seeds. These companies also make a point of working directly with hemp farmers and agricultural scientists to ensure the quality of their seeds.

5. Work with Seed Companies that Understand Compliance

Industrial hemp farmers need to be extremely careful to ensure that their hemp product stays in compliance with federal law. That means their hemp crop must have a concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) below 0.3%.

Compliance starts with the seed company. You’ll want to choose hemp seeds for growing for sale that are genetically designed to produce low amounts of THC. If your seed company doesn’t provide low-THC seeds, it will be nearly impossible to stay in compliance.

Of course, each farmer must test their plants through every stage in the growing process to ensure THC rates are below the limit. Starting out with the right seeds, however, can make this process much easier and help ensure you get to harvest without any compliance issues.

6. Invest with a Seed Company That Provides Excellent Customer Service

No crop is guaranteed, which is why knowledge is power for farmers. Choosing the seeds for your hemp crop is one of the most important decisions you’ll make, so it helps to get the right kind of guidance. The best hemp seed companies care deeply about helping their clients make educated and confident decisions when they buy hemp seeds to grow.

For example, a hemp seed company should be happy to take the time to explain the features and benefits of their different hemp seed strains. They should be eager to learn about your farm, your budget, and your goals so they can make hemp strain suggestions that will give you the best chance of success. They should also be able to answer questions about what equipment you need and whether hemp seed starts would be a better option for your farming setup.

Before you buy hemp seeds from a company, give them a call and talk to a representative. Make sure they’ll take the time to help you make the best choice for your farm.

It All Starts with the Seed

A good hemp crop comes from good hemp seeds. A lot of new farmers wonder where to buy hemp seeds, but the answer is easy: choose High Grade Hemp Seed. We were founded in 2011 and became one of America’s first certified hemp farms. We’ve spent years building up a team of expert farmers and scientists and crossbreeding hemp seeds to develop the very best strains.

Our results speak for themselves. We offer seeds with a 99.9% feminization rate and a 98% germination rate. Our Berry Blossom hemp strain is considered an industry standard for high CBD production, and we’ve developed five additional CBD-oriented strains that are quickly becoming farmer favorites in their own right. Our Matterhorn CBG strain is one of the very best for producing CBG.

Of course, don’t just take it from us—let us show you what we’re all about. Give us a call and tell us your story. We would love to hear about your goals and to help you find the right hemp strain and seed type for hemp success. Contact us today or take a look at our highly praised hemp seed strains.

The future of the hemp industry is wide open and for farmers who are interested in getting in on the ground floor, this infographic can help you start in the right direction.